The Longest Shortest Time

I will never be ok with this whole "time" thing. 

as she waxes and wanes

hang the moon in chains

nail down the hands of the insolent clock

that the tides should halt

that the chalk and salt

should hold fast to the hills, arrested in rock


aren't i enchanting?

you can't look away

i've taken your finest years

i've taken your days


in the western sky

the sun lives and dies

bound to its fate in crimson and gold

in a humble room

with her thread and loom

a young mother stitch by stitch will grow old


when each moment tips

and your presence dips

back to the slow ostinato of days

when the wine drinks itself

and puts you on the shelf

retreat while you can to your mortar and clay


and the bricks will shift

and the sands will sift

the bloom of your breath is what holds you aloft

and the cats will pace

and your mind will race

the nightime is hard but darling i'm soft

I always end up writing about the passage of time - it makes me sick and giddy, like that feeling when you think there's another step at the bottom of the stairs but there's nothing there. 

On December 2nd 2015, in a bathroom stall at my office, I found out that I was pregnant. (The choice of venue was truly not my best decision.) Since then, time has become even more viscous and warped - this strange elastic quality to life that I find truly terrifying. Minutes crawl by painfully and then you look up and where did six months go? Going through pregnancy, childbirth and life with a newborn (at the time of writing Katie is two months old) has brought a new wretched, visceral yankiness to how I experience time and how I see others move through it. This song is about that. 

I got the name for this song from a brilliant podcast hosted by Hillary Frank that discusses "life after giving life." I have never heard quite such an appropriate phrase to describe this rite of passage. Listen here!